Parish Stories

Holy Cross Parish

Timber Lake, SD Diocese of Rapid City


“The Holy Eucharist is food for my soul”

Renee Leibel

The Holy Eucharist is food for my soul. Just as I take in food for my body, I receive the Holy Eucharist as food for my soul. In March of 2020, fear of the Covid virus caused everything, including the Churches to close. We could not attend Mass and I felt like I was starving. I felt so unsettled and empty. Someone said to me, “It is just that Catholic guilt getting to you.” But I knew that was not true; I was really missing something necessary. I have always appreciated my Catholic faith and the opportunity to go to Mass, but I believe that the months when we weren’t able to go clarified in my mind and heart that the Eucharist is food for my soul. It is like the old saying, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” So, in May when Bishop Peter announced that we would once again be able to attend Mass and receive the Holy Eucharist, my heart was full of joy. I felt whole again! 

Since my retirement, I am blessed to be able to attend daily Mass two or three times a week. I have a longing to go to Mass and be with Jesus and there is so much to pray for. Each time I go, at the time of the consecration, I lift all of my intentions up – on different days, different people and their needs come to my mind and I pray for them in a special way. It is hard for me to put into words how important this is to me. 

Whether during the week or on Sunday, when I attend Mass and receive the Holy Eucharist, my day feels complete. I find peace in being with my church family and knowing that they believe and love the Lord as I do. I am reassured that anything that comes my way will be manageable if I have the Holy Eucharist within me and my church family alongside me! 

A few years ago, I attended a Day of Prayer and Reflection sponsored by the Office of Vocations with some family members and friends. We learned about the opportunity to pray intentionally for vocations as spiritual mothers. When we came home, we began a monthly Holy Hour to pray for Vocations. When I am present at adoration with the Lord, I feel a peace I cannot describe. 

I feel calm and secure in my love for this Lord that has blessed me beyond words. I can talk to Him so freely and I truly believe he is listening. I wish all my loved ones and friends could experience this joy I find with my Lord. God is so good and loves me so much. I am truly blessed to have my Catholic faith!!!

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